Wilkes Healthy Carolinians Council

Click Here for more information on North Carolina’s Healthy Carolinians Council

Wilkes Healthy Carolinians Council is an advocate for health care reform, it is a catalyst for improving quality, access continuity and coordination of health care services in Wilkes County since 1993.

The need for caring citizens at every level to help plan, implement, and evaluate health promotion programs is critical right now. Disease prevention and physical / mental health promotion is a must in today’s society.

Health promotion improves the health status of individuals, families, communities, states, and the nation. Now with this partnership of the Wilkes County Health Department with Wilkes Regional Medical Center, the power of partnering is even greater. Through education-driven, voluntary behavior change programs, professionally trained health educators and ordinary grass-roots citizens like you make a difference in the health of people and communities.

We need you and your involvement in this vital task. Four areas of need have been identified as health priorities in Wilkes.

  1. Child obesity
  2. Prescription Drug Abuse
  3. Access to Health Care
  4. Mental Health

Our community partners include (click on each partner for more information about their organization) :

Wilkes Regional Medical Center
Wilkes County Health Department
Wilkes YMCA
Care Connections Pharmacy
Smokey Mountain Center
Wilkes Community College
North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension of Wilkes County
Wilkes County Smart Start

If you would like to become a member of our council or to find out more about our council, contact council executive, Paul Hugger at (336) 651-8130, or phugger@wilkesregional.com.

Access to Care

The Access to Care Task Force (ACTF) advocates to improve and to provide adequate access to health care for uninsured citizens of Wilkes who are at a greater risk of not seeing a physician or not having a yearly routine checkup due to cost.

HealthCare Connection through the Wilkes County Health Department is an integrated system working with the medical community, rural health centers, and the local hospital to provide access to comprehensive healthcare to low-income, uninsured citizens of Wilkes County. Services include a medical home for primary and preventive care, specialty care, lab, diagnostic services, outpatient services, low-cost pharmaceuticals, and patient navigation.

Who is eligible for subsidized care through HealthCare Connection?

People with…

  • Acute active health problems.
  • No access to health insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, or VA benefits.
  • A Total gross household income at or below 200% federal poverty level.
  • Age (21-64)
  • Resident of Wilkes County for at least the past 30 days.

Click here to download Care Connections Pharmacy brochure
Click here for information on getting a primary care physician
Click here for a directory of physicians and phone numbers
Click here to download Primary Care Providers Accepting New Patients 

To find out if you can receive assistance or how you can help, please contact:
Armando Limon
Wilkes County Health Department
(336) 651-7386

Fitness & Nutrition

The Fitness and Nutrition for Disease Prevention Task Force (FNTF) advocates to improve awareness of the obesity epidemic and to improve the health of the community.

Many children and adults in our nation have health concerns caused by their weight.  Having an unhealthy weight may contribute to many preventable causes of death and disease. The risk of developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, certain types of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and other illnesses increases with weight and age.  In Wilkes County, one out of every two children between that are middle school age are at an unhealthy weight (source: Ftiness and Nutrition for Disease Prevention Task Force annual Boby Mass Index Screens fall 2010).  As a result, nationwide there has been an increase in the number of young people developing Type II Diabetes, along with other illnesses and conditions as mentioned above.

The FNTF wants to lessen the burden of obesity and unhealthy lifestyle choices in our community thorough education of healthy lifestyle choices, resource education, and education of the benefits of regular exercise. The FNTF has worked with community partners to make free or low cost exercise opportunities available for the public, and assisting companies to develop healthy worksite practices. Resources and healthy practices such as…

  • Availability of walking/fitness trails at local schools.
  • Assisted with the implementation of the IsPOD curriculum in Wilkes County Schools.
  • Working with local businesses to develop wellness policies for employees and patrons.
  • Providing free smoking cessation classes for local companies.
  • Assisting with grant writing to help local agencies obtain grant funds to improve resources for the community.

If you would like more information about the Fitness and Nutrition for Disease Prevention Task Force, or would like to join the task force, please contact the Chair, Jared Belk, at 336.651.7450 or jbelk@wilkescounty.net.

Substance Abuse

The Substance Abuse Task Force (SATF) advocates for the improvement of services to victims of substance abuse by assessing the community’s current level of response to victims, and identifying ways to enhance services and to promote prevention and a reduction in the rate of illegal use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs by developing and encouraging inter-agency coordination and community educational programs.

Wilkes County Medical Examiners have documented 59 unintentional drug deaths for 2005 through 2007, mainly attributed to prescription drug misuse or abuse. This places Wilkes 5 times greater than national and 3 times the NC State averages.

The SATF has established a community coalition:

  • Northwest Community Care Network
  • Wilkes Regional Medical Center
  • Wilkes County Sheriff’s Department
  • Wilkes County Health Department
  • Smoky Mtn. LME and New River
  • Wilkes Ministerial Association
  • Wilkes County Schools
  • Parents and Youth of Wilkes

Others are also involved to combat this “epidemic” and better educate our community regarding proper narcotic prescription utilization, handling and disposal. The SATF is promoting the use of the NC State Controlled Substance Reporting System for tracking narcotic prescription usage and assisting in organizing additional prevention and treatment programs in Wilkes.

If you would like to download a copy of the Mental Health & Substance Abuse Resource Directory, please click here. To see a list of Substance Abuse Assessment and Treatment Options, please click here. For a copy of  Wilkes County Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Providers click here.

Fred Wells Brason II, Executive Director, Project Lazarus
P.O. Box 261
Moravian Falls, NC 28654